2018! Getting started blogging (for developers).

Well, I was traveling on vacation and didn't create any resolutions. That's OK.
There's one commitment I did with myself: I'll take that blog, remove the dust, and then keep it going for the whole year! I'll trust the process.

I made this commitment a few days ago when I was back from vacation, and since that, I'm setting up this blog (easy with Ghost Pro BTW) and writing the base pages.
It is not done yet. I'm running slow.

This first post is your invitation: do you wanna blog?

YES!

Then, forget about thinking and start doing. Of course, you need a bit planning and money, but pay it first, then start writing and let's get started with the commitment to learn something, post a useful article and laugh about it later if that is the case.

So, let's get started.

Step #1: Setup the site

I know that I just said for you to pay it first, but here's the real thing to do:

Create the base pages

Before you really start, make sure you can write a few words just to get accustomed to it. I am in this process too.

Recommended pages:

  • Home
  • About
  • Contact
  • Services (or products)

The Home also can be your about, or, if you wish, you can have a single page with About, Contact, Services, and your posts.

Buy or create the theme/site

This one is easy. What do you want from your blog? Set up a few goals.
These are mine:

  • force me to learn more
  • learn how to write content and teach others
  • have the blog to pay for itself
  • show my style of programming

Simple goals, simple choice: I decided to go with Ghost Pro. Period.

So, with your goals in mind, decide if you go:

  • Static (Hugo, Jekyll, Hexo);
  • CMS (WordPress, other);
  • Medium
  • Ghost
  • DIY

The important thing here is: if you want a full business, go with WP.
If you just want to share knowledge, Medium or Ghost will do a better job.
Static or DIY is for you that want your hands dirty with code every week and total control.

Buy your domain

Another easy step. Just google for some good practices for the name; nothing like mine (difficult to pronounce and very big). Pick something simple. Just be sure to take a .com or .net Top-Level Domain.

Buy hosting and launch

This is personal I think. Every developer has your own feelings about where to host their code or their apps.

Just to help a bit, I suggest:

Don't lose time here, you can change it whenever you want.

One final step before launching: Security. Today is easier to get SSL, so choose whatever fit your needs. A few options:

Just a reminder: Firebase and Netlify would fit your needs if you are going static.

Launch and be happy

Okay, now is time to get your site up and running, create a first post to test waters (despite it is a shame, this is mine).

Step #2: Always Be Creating Value

This is my next step: Creating good content.

Good content is hard to write and I'm willing to provide that no matter how long it takes for me to write.
I know that the initial posts are harder, and I'll get better with time, so here are the tips for me and you:

  • Solve a problem
  • Answer questions
  • Define things

We need to provide value. Someone needs our help.
We are a community and helping others is what we do. Small contributions worth more than no contributions at all.

For this blog, I have a few things to write, but I want them to become a good reading. So, wait for it.

Tips to write

These things, I just google searched and here they are, I'll start to follow these tips too:

  • Pick a topic
  • Create an outline
  • Do not start with the intro
  • Do not be an editor
  • Do not use Office Word or Google Docs, use a simple text editor with no fancy highlighting
  • Proofread
  • Even if you don't like your post, do not delete it

Step #3: Setup social media

Finally, the last step.
I am not a fan of social media, but once you are writing, you can create a Facebook group or page, a Twitter or Pinterest.
I think I'm going to create one later (next year maybe), but for now, let's just learn.

Additional steps

  • SEO
  • Google Analytics
  • Email subscriptions
  • Google Suite
  • Discuss (or another one)

Talking about comments, please, be sure to email me what steps we can take or how would you start a new developer focused blog.
I'll setup Discuss later.


Cheers

Two men holding beer bottles cheers at sunset in silhouette
Photo by Wil Stewart / Unsplash